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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Movie Review: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World



For years now, filmmakers have been trying to achieve the "live-action animation" look. Basically, they want to be able to match the style, movement, tone, and composition of animation-- particularly Japanese animation (anime, of course). There have been some pretty decent attempts: Robert Zemekis' "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" (specifically the Toon Town sequence), the Warchowski's with "The Matrix" films and "Speed Racer" (a movie that would have been a HUGE HIT in 3D), and Stephen Norrington with the original (and best) "Blade".  As good and great as these films are...NONE OF THEM holds a candle to Edgar Wright's "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World". I was a Wright fan before this film, but at this point I am now an advocate: SEE THIS MOVIE NOW!!!!!!!!

It's a cute idea-- boy meets girl, boy falls for girl...boy must battle "7 Evil Ex's" in order to stay with girl. It takes place in the mystical world of...Canada, and the life of Scott Pilgrim, a young guy who plays bass in a band and plays video games with his high school-age "girlfriend". Pilgrim's world comes to a halt when he meets a girl at a party that he's literally only once before in a dream. Her name is Ramona (they play the opening instrumental from the Frank Black's song when she shows up-- good stuff). After a bit of apprehension, Ramona decides to date Scott. Unfortunately for Scott, she initially fails to tell him that in order to date her, he must fight and defeat her seven of her ex's. And when I say "fight", I mean FIGHT! As in these actor had to train to learn how to fight.

This is the kind of film that would have made me spooge my pants as a kid-- comic books, anime, video games, cute chicks, kung-fu...are you kidding me?! It's truly a visual treat. The comic book accents are clever, and the anime-inspired fight sequences are SLICK!!! No joke-- this is the real deal. I mean, these guys NAILED the look of anime in the live action form. The low-angle shots, the split screen, the colored streaks of speed-- EVERYTHING works!

From the 8-bit Universal Pictures logo with Commodore 64-sounding synthesized theme music, I knew this movie was going to be special. After the title sequence, I was pretty much sold on the fact that I was going to enjoy this film. It has a great spirit, it's FUNNY, it's smart, it's geeky/nerdy, and I am SHOCKED that it wasn't a hit! Seriously, what a goddamn shame. Like many films, I think the marketing was weak. People who advertise films somehow manage to make incredible work look dull and weak.

I haven't bought many movies lately, but I will BUY this one, and I will share it with my kids when they are old enough to appreciate it. As far as I'm concerned, this film is a classic.


Rating: A++


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